Australia’s Energy Transition
Australia is a major energy powerhouse that exports energy to the rest of the world, yet we have a difficult energy transition to net zero emissions ahead of us, given our unique geography, climate, widely dispersed populations and federal political structure.
While the energy transition to non-fossil and renewable sources is already occurring across Australia, there is currently no coordinated and holistic picture of the research underway to support a successful energy transition. Nor is there an independent and authoritative statement of current research gaps and priorities. In addition, while international energy transition research is progressing strongly, Australia cannot rely solely on this international research to support its own transition. Australia must continue to build its own research capabilities to find local solutions and strategies to solve local problems. Our unique energy environment will give rise to distinct energy transition research considerations over the coming decade.
As a response to these issues, in late 2019, ACOLA commenced discussions with the Australian energy sector on the need for an Australian Energy Transition Research Plan (the Research Plan). In mid-2020, this work officially commenced following strong stakeholder support, and in late 2020 ACOLA secured several funding partners to support the delivery of this project.
Australian Energy Transition Research Plan
The objective of the Research Plan is to identify research gaps and subsequently promote research priorities for a successful Australian energy transition to net zero carbon emissions (nominally by 2050), with the purpose of helping to inform and influence the direction, allocation and quantum of research funding in Australia. This will: 1) guide research funders, industry and researchers’ activities related to the national energy transition; and 2) encourage research activities that complement existing strengths and avoid duplicative efforts. The Research Plan will be a dynamic document, produced annually and developed in consultation with stakeholders, to ensure it remains relevant over the course of the energy transition (nominally 30 years).
Following early consultation on the design of the Research Plan, ACOLA has identified three streams for the research priorities, each containing several themes. These research priorities are now being tested widely with the energy sector through a consultation process. The consultation paper can be accessed in the link below and submissions close on Friday 26 February 2021.
ACOLA, for its established ability to deliver interdisciplinary evidence-based research that draws on specialist expertise from Australia’s Learned Academies, convened the Australian energy transition research project steering committee to guide the development of a targeted study that draws input from several disciplines to create a well-considered, balanced and peer-reviewed report. The role of the steering committee is to provide strategic oversight and expert input, analysis and provocative thinking.
|Mr Drew Clarke AO PSM FTSE
|Professor Kenneth Baldwin FAIP FlnstP FOSA FAPS|
|Professor Bruce Godfrey FTSE||Emeritus Professor Sue Richardson FASSA|
|Professor Libby Robin FAHA||Professor Fran Baum AO FAHMS AAS|
|Mr Ryan Winn||Dr Lauren Palmer|
|Dr Fern Beavis||Stephanie Chan|
For further information or any queries about the project, please contact:
Stephanie Chan, Senior Research and Policy Officer
(03) 9864 0937
Acknowledgement of Country
ACOLA acknowledges the Traditional Owners and custodians of the lands on which our company is located and where we conduct our business. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.